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How do you plug in your amps at gigs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassmusic808, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. Greetings all. Just a quick question. Do you guys plug your amps straight into the wall socket at a gig or somthing else also? Power strip? Circuit breaker??

    I ask because I had a gig last week and pluged my stack (Ampeg B2R, BSE HLF410 cab) into the one and only free wall socket on the side of the stage I was on. There was something else plugged into the socket right next to it, but I couldn't tell what it was going to. Anyways, all night I kept getting buzz or humming sounds every time i turned up the volume past half way on my bass (Carvin LB70P, active eq). I really thought that something was wrong with my amp. But, sure enough, after I got home and tried it out to be sure, it sounded fine. So, I'm guessing it was from the the venue. Anyone with a similar experience and tips to avoid this problem? Thanks!

  2. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    You were probably on the same circuit as the neon lights.

    I used to play at a dump that had the windows next to the stage trimmed out in neon as well as the requisite over-abundance of beer signs. I had to pick my outlet very, very carefully.

    My rack has a Furman PL-8 Plus which protects against surges but not noise...at least not enough protection against noise.
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    1. If the PA support affords power distribution, plug into that line as a first priority.

    2. If no power distro is available, then you have to go into a wall outlet, no two ways about it. I recommend finding a circuit that is not already loaded down with PA and other large draws, and DEFINTELY not one where neon or other specialty lights are plugged in. Also beware of fridges, blenders, microwave ovens being on the same line.

    3. Whenever possible, use an outlet strip (rack mount or otherwise) that has good EM/RFI filtering, which will keep out some of the nasties like you have encountered.
  4. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    excellent advice !!
    :D :cool:
  5. i usually have my own power strip, it takes up 2 plugs so no one can plug in on the same circuit lol and it also has surge protection and a circuit breaker on it so i dont take the whole place down with me if i draw too much power.
  6. Thanks for the prompt replies! You guys rock! Ok.. so, what is considered good EM/RFI filtering?? I've never heard of that before.. :confused: and, is it expensive to get??
  7. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    I have a 35 foot power chord reel that has 4 sockets on it. I try to not plug into the same line as everyone else.
  8. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Always bring a ground-lift as well. They can sometimes help eliminate hum. You can get them for about a dollar apiece at any hardware store.
  9. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Ugh.....don't use ground lifts..

    Lifting the ground usually has no effect anyhow, except in some cases if you have a connection to other equipment, such as a feed going to the board etc. A direct box generally fixes that.

    We recommend NOT EVER "lifting ground", because there is a safety issue involved. In case of a problem, the ground wire on the cord might keep you from getting shocked bigtime, maybe electrocuted.

    Don't un-ground a piece of gear that is intended to be grounded. Don't use ground lifts. Don't break off the ground pin. There is always a better way to fix the hum.

    If a line out etc causes a hum, use a transformer type direct box to break the ground. Try a different outlet, etc, etc.

    It isn't worth your life to have less hum at a gig.
  10. Davehenning


    Aug 9, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Wow, I didn't know that. My old sound crew used to use them occasionaly on amps that were buzzing heavily. 99% of the time, it had something to do with the stage lights and we fixed it there....

    THanks for the info.
  11. xJasonSmithx

    xJasonSmithx Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    Denver, CO
    On the last gig w/ my band it was moved down the street to a shady warehouse at the last minute and right when we started playing i knoticed my amp fading in and out and at times not even be making any sound at all. Needless to say i was freaking out, it was my first gig w/ my new 1001rb II head and i thought that the head was the problem at first but the next morning i gave it an intensive workout at my house and it ended up being fine. I doubt i will ever play there again but if i have to i will definetly have a nice surge protector. That could have really screwed up my head. I was pretty lucky.

  12. I run all of my stuff into a Furman RR-15 and it takes care of most of the venue related buzz for me
  13. There are three major power consumers at a club gig, typically in this order:
    - the PA
    - the lights
    - the bass amp

    If you can put all three on separate circuits, you minimize the chance of a blown breaker or interference.

    Run them all off the same Edison plug, and you almost guarantee a tripped breaker or interference.

    Good luck.

  14. A real crappy bar I played at a couple times thought it would be a good idea to run all the electricy to the stage through a sieres of power strips, as in, power strip, plugged into power strip, plugged into power strip, much like an extention cord. I decided it was best not to use the power source supplied, but rather the wall.
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    | D----------A---|
    | -E----T-----L--|
    | --A----o-----L-|
    | ---T-----------|
    | ----H----------|

    There, josh. That looks a little better. Feel free to copy it and use it.
  16. MattyN


    May 26, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    some rooms are worse than others, plain and simple. there's a club called 'the rendezvous' in seattle (my town) that has a wicked buzz problem.
  17. As a general rule for (for the UK and EU at least), one plug socket with a 15amp fuse shouldn't exceed 2800watts sum power for the equipment attatched.

    If you're playing a small gig, for instance, with a 600watt PA, 2 100watt guitar heads and your own 100watt to 600watt amp, you're all fine plugging into the same socket provided there is a 15amp fuse fitted to it.
  18. Our band will use a 220 splitter panel when we can. We have a few different plugs for a clothes dryer, and stove. We even have alligator cable ends for clipping it on to the service panel. You need AMPS for your AMPS.!!, BABY. :D !!
  19. lol thanks.
  20. To be honest, I plug it in to the closest outlet. If I get hum or noise I start looking for someplace else to plug in. When all fails I usually plug into the same circuit as the board. I never plug into the same circuit as the lights.